North Walsham Raiders stay second after hard-fought win
- Credit: Archant
North Walsham Raiders came out on top, and maintained their second place in Greene King IPA EC1 North, with hard fought 23-17 win at Beccles.
The Raiders claimed the spoils after outscoring their hosts by three tries to two at Beef Meadow.
Still missing four or five key players the Raiders nonetheless had a good mix of youth (six teenagers) and experience, but knew that this would be a much stronger Beccles side than the one they beat back in September.
The home side took an early lead with a penalty but a scrum just inside the Beccles half resulted with some excellent handling and centre Henry Hunt crossed in the corner.
There was a setback after 25 minutes when skipper George Rossi went off with a neck injury to be replaced by young George Masdin who made an immediate impact with some good tackles and carries, culminating with a break down the right before unloading in the tackle to fellow teenager Tawanda Kandemwa who touched down and Ted Morgan converted.
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Unfortunately Madsin took a knock to an already bruised knee and his game was over after eight minutes, with Michael Batty coming on
Coach Johnny Marsters made another change at the break, sending on a Archie Haynes and moving Tom Knight to hooker. A bright start to the half saw Morgan drop a penalty just short before Marsters made good ground in midfield good recycling saw the ball come wide on the left for wing Will Minchin to outpace the defence to extend the lead to 17.
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Another injury to second row Matty Norfolk-Clarke had a major effect as the Raiders lost their supremacy in the lineouts and Beccles came back into the game with a converted try before Morgan slotted a second penalty.
Prop Seb Roberts was unlucky not to get the bonus point try. He planted the ball on the line but the referee, unsighted, could only award a scrum. Beccles upped their game and with five minutes left scored a second converted try but it was the Raiders who finished the game on the attack.
The Warriors were awarded a walk-over after Norwich Medics seconds called off.
There is a break from league action on Saturday to allow cup games to take place and all three Walsham sides have a day off.
Holt also take a break from their London 2NE campaign.